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Warning mixing painkiller with common daily drug risks 'triple whammy' kidney damage

A COMMON daily pill mixed with a painkiller could create a “triple whammy” that risks harming the kidneys, a study has warned.

The organ damage could be permanent.

Ibuprofen is used to relieve the pain of a number of ailments, from period cramps to headaches and back ache.

But scientists have warned that some people taking medication for high blood pressure should be wary.

Combining their daily pill with ibuprofen could be putting many people at risk of harm, without them realising.

One in three Brits have high blood pressure (hypertension), of which around half are diagnosed and prescribed pills.

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Diuretics and renin-angiotensin system (RSA) inhibitors are among treatments used.

RSAs are given to most people with hypertension under the age of 55, and include ACE inhibitors and ARBs.

Some people take a number of medicines to keep their blood pressure under control.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada, used a series of computer-simulated drug trials to model the interactions of these routinely prescribed drugs with ibuprofen.

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They found the combo could cause acute kidney injury, which in some cases could be permanent.

Professor Anita Layton, lead author of the research, said: “Diuretics are a family of drugs that make the body hold less water.

“Being dehydrated is a major factor in acute kidney injury, and then the RAS inhibitor and ibuprofen hit the kidney with this triple whammy."

Human clinical trials would confirm the computer’s conclusions.

Prof Layton said: “It’s not that everyone who happens to take this combination of drugs is going to have problems.

“But the research shows it’s enough of a problem that you should exercise caution.”

Prof Layton said if you are on these drugs and need a painkiller, take paracetamol.

But it comes after another team of experts warned taking paracetemol daily pumps up the risk of heart attack or stroke by 20 per cent for patients with hypertension.

They said doctors should give the lowest possible dose for the shortest time if people need it to control pain.

The NHS says that people who do not have their blood pressure under control should tell their doctor if they plan on using ibuprofen. 

It also says those with kidney problems wanting to take ibuprofen or paracetamol to check with an expert first.

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Pregnant women, people with heart disease, asthma, allergies, Crohn’s or a stomach ulcer are also cautioned not to take ibuprofen.

The NHS also says that ibuprofen, which falls under the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), could raise blood pressure further.

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